6.4/10
361
18 user 12 critic

Dawn at Socorro (1954)

Approved | | Action, Music, Romance | 26 November 1954 (UK)
Gunfighter Brett Wade, diagnosed with tuberculosis, tries to get out of his former life while helping a young woman.

Director:

George Sherman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Calhoun ... Brett Wade
Piper Laurie ... Rannah Hayes
David Brian ... Dick Braden
Kathleen Hughes ... Clare
Alex Nicol ... Jimmy Rapp
Edgar Buchanan ... Sheriff Cauthen
Mara Corday ... Letty Diamond
Roy Roberts ... Doc Jameson
Skip Homeier ... Buddy Ferris
James Millican ... Marshal Harry McNair
Lee Van Cleef ... Earl Ferris
Stanley Andrews ... Old Man Ferris
Richard Garland Richard Garland ... Tom Ferris
Scott Lee Scott Lee ... Deputy Vince McNair
Paul Brinegar ... Desk Clerk
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Storyline

Brett Wade, gambler, gunslinger, and classical pianist, is wounded in a gunfight with the Ferris clan; the doctor finds signs of tuberculosis. En route to Colorado for his health, Brett stops in Socorro, New Mexico along with Ferris gunfighter Jimmy Rapp. Sheriff Couthen fears another shootout, but what Brett has in mind is saving waif-with-a-past Rannah Hayes from a life as one of Dick Braden's saloon girls. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LAST OF THE FRONTIER GAMBLERS! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1954 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Vengeance à l'aube See more »

Filming Locations:

Apple Valley, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The monochrome brown of the outside scenery seen from inside the stagecoach through the windows during the ride does not match the colored external scenery as shown from outside the stagecoach, proving that the studio used old black & white stock footage that was tinted brown to disguise its black & white origins. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Cauthen: Let's have your gun.
Jimmy Rapp: I'm naked without it!
Sheriff Cauthen: It's all right. I won't arrest you for being naked.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Red Sundown (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Do the Oo La La
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Rosen
Lyrics by Everett Carter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All my friends are my enemies.
7 February 2016 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Dawn at Socorro is directed by George Sherman and written by George Zuckerman. It stars Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, David Brian, Kathleen Hughes, Alex Nicol and Edgar Buchanan. Music is by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Carl Guthrie.

One Night In Socorro.

A cracker-jack Western this. Plot essentially has Calhoun as Brett Wade, a tough gunfighter who is suffering badly from ill health. Taking advice from his doctor he decides to retire to healthier pastures, but his past and new enemies refuse to let him go. OK! So it's very much a composite of a number of famous Westerns, but to dismiss this as a cheap knock off would be foolish. The script is very literate and the screenplay never gets tired or preposterous. From an action stand point it scores favourably, right from the opening in Lordsburgh where we get a stockyard shoot-out, pic is never dull.

I wont arrest you for being naked.

There's good black humour in here as well, and some outstanding scenes such as Brett playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at his own funeral (you will understand when you see it) and a poker game where the stake is the fetching Piper Laurie! There's a constant running feud between Wade and Jimmy Rapp (Nicol), a well written part of the film as it brings in codes and ethics that play opposite another character.

The tech credits are bang on the money. Location photography out of Apple Valley and Victorville is gorgeous, as is Guthrie's colour lensing for the interiors. Props and set design is hugely appealing, including a super locomotive for the train enthusiasts to gorge on. While the front line cast members (Lee Van Cleef & Skip Homeier have small roles) turn in very good work, with Calhoun once again showing his qualities in the genre.

My past - every dark miserable day of it!

But it's with the characterisations where the film strikes the finest. Laurie's Rannah Hayes has been cast out the family home for apparently being a hussy, she's constantly carrying that baggage with her. She finds a soul mate in Wade, a man dragged down by his life, and the weight of such could be his downfall - and he knows it. Buchanan is wonderfully ebullient as the lawman trying to get Wade out of town ASAP, Nicol is hopped up on booze and a thirst for vengeance, whilst David Brian is entrepreneur Dick Braden, a devious man with no code or honour.

Highly recommended to Western fans. 8/10


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